Planning for the next major elections in 2020 does not start in 2020. It actually started for most Legislative District (LD), County, State, and National Party Apparatuses in December 2018 and January 2019. At the LD level, organizational officers are either reelected or elected. Precinct Captains are asked to stay on while others are recruited. New candidates for local, state, and national offices are scouted and vetted. Voter Registration drives are organized and fundraising never ceases.
Legislative District 16 encompasses parts of both Maricopa and Pinal Counties. It includes parts of East Mesa, Apache Junction, Gold Canyon, North San Tan Valley, and West Peralta. At this time it is a predominantly Republican District but support for Democratic candidates has climbed over the last two election cycles. The new LD 16 Democratic Chair Sharon Stinard (the 2016 and 2018 LD 16 Democratic State House Candidate) and the district leadership team see opportunities for party pickups over the next two or three election cycles in this LD and the LD’s adjacent to them (LD’s 12 and 25).
Ms. Stinard graciously spoke with The Blog for Arizona and discussed her LD’s performance last November and the LD 16’s goals for the future and the 2020 election.
The questions and her responses are below.
- Please assess your LD’s performance in the 2018 elections.
“After looking at a snapshot of this election we see independent voter registrations continuing to grow. While Republican registrations remain at a 2 to 1 ratio over Democrat registrations we will see what role current events will play in shifting the demographics of LD16. We need to strengthen our current infrastructure with more volunteers who will help us “get out the vote”. We are now working to exceed our Democratic and Independent turnout and perform even better in 2020.”
- In terms of moving forward, what are two things you would do the same in preparing for the 2020 election cycle?
“A single shot strategy worked for us in the Arizona House race this time. Using the party database and focusing on larger precincts worked to our advantage. Greater voter recognition of the LD16 candidates was also a plus.”
- In terms of moving forward, what are two things you would do differently in preparing for the 2020 election cycle?
“Strengthening infrastructure. We now have a strong executive board with vice chairpersons, treasurer, and secretary (all seasoned and ready to go). We are building stronger communication links with LD16 voters. We are building teams to reach voters and potential volunteers through canvassing, events and training opportunities. [we are looking to collaborate with LD12 and LD25] [We plan to mobilize volunteers with a strategy to build our Precinct Committee list now in Maricopa County. Pinal County has 100 slots with 14 filled.] Our goal is to recruit two or more PC’s each month. We want to attract voters who vote in every election to reach out to their neighbors. We are conducting a survey of Democrats in LD16 to find out what they want to see our LD16 leadership accomplish and also let us know what they would like to do to help expand our effectiveness. Blending work and social activities is a strategy we hope will attract our voters to get even more involved as we build toward the 2020 election cycle.
- Will you expect the same candidates that ran in 2018 to run again?
“Unclear but we are looking for candidates to run. It is to be determined”
- Please explain:
- Method for recruiting P.C.’S
“Goals are an effective motivator for both the LD leadership and our PC”s. We are identifying the “super Dems” to become PC’s (they are active in voting in every primary and general election and also contribute financially or sign petitions on a regular basis) We have a “job description” and will offer training for them so they know what they are signing up for and will feel connected. One of the tools we will have for them is a door hanger they can use as they stop by the homes in their neighborhood and precinct.”
- Method for recruiting candidates if the same ones do not run again.
“We will recruit from Democratic activists who express interest. We will see what level of government interests them such as school board, or local or legislative office. We plan to include a background check in the process of vetting our candidates.”
“We have launched a fundraising campaign called $20 for 2020. We are reaching out for donations through Facebook, emails, the website and at our monthly meetings or events. We have created budget targets that we hope will show a strong effort to strengthen our LD. We hope that the county and state committees may take notice of our efforts to “move the needle” and support us in some way.”
- Voter Registration
“We plan to have a table and locations such as grocery stores, libraries, college campuses, and area events or parades. Two of our extraordinary canvassers are already at work signing up new PC’s and new voters in Maricopa and Pinal counties.”
- Closing Comments
“We are in for the long haul. Because of that population growth, we may see LD16 be among those districts the Redistricting Commission will look at. I am grateful that Arizona is one of the states that have an independent Redistricting Commission. I very proud to be serving as the LD16 Chair where I can contribute to moving Arizona forward toward a bright and prosperous future.”
To accomplish the goal of totally retaking control of the government, the work and preparation need to start now at the local level and build upward throughout the county, state, and national party apparatuses. Ms. Stinard and the rest of LD 16 staff and participants are laying the groundwork to move forward to accomplish this end. It may not happen in 2020 for LD 16 but with changing demographics, it will happen within the next two or three election cycles. County and State Democratic Party officials would be wise to invest in LD 16 now so the turnover from Republican to Democratic control occurs sooner rather than later.